What's Your Nature?

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Just Our Nature - news, updates and insights

Outside of the Doghouse: Keeping Your Dog Safe and Healthy in Nature

By Jane Eifert on May 25, 2016
Few activities bring more joy than watching dogs running around outside – leaping from rocks to logs, splashing in the water, and sniffing out nearby squirrels at the base of every tree they pass. It is impossible not to join, chasing them and throwing sticks for them to retrieve – their tongues hanging out of their smiling faces and tails wagging faster than the wings of a hummingbird. For…
Blog category: On the Trail

The Multipurpose Nettle

By Paul J. Hetzler on May 24, 2016
One of my favorite plants is either highly versatile, or very confused. On the one hand, professional herbivores like rabbits and deer refuse to even touch it, but many people, myself included, will gladly eat it every day it is available. While contacting it is painful, it has been proven to relieve certain chronic pain. It is steeped in over a thousand years of folklore, at one point imbued…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged

North Country Voices: John Ashley

By Justin Dalaba on May 13, 2016
  John Ashley is a SCUBA instructor and the owner of Bluefin Diving, a SCUBA diving shop in Ogdensburg. A North Country native, he has been diving  in the St. Lawrence River for over 20 years, including winter dives beneath the ice. We caught up with him to learn more about the life of a diver and scuba instructor in our northern climate.     Nature Up North:  How did you get into SCUBA diving?…
Blog category: North Country Voices

Juneberry: An Early Bloomer

By Paul J. Hetzler on May 6, 2016
Another regional attraction has just opened, and for the next few weeks you can see the show at innumerable open-air venues across the Northeast. The performance is free, although only matinees are available. The new event is the blossoming of a widespread, though strangely little-known, early-flowering plant. It is either a small tree or a shrub, depending on who you ask, which makes me wonder…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged

Exploring the North Country, Even on Crutches

By Jane Eifert on May 5, 2016
Until recently, my idea of outdoor adventure was something intense – climbing an Adirondack High Peak, embarking on a multi-day canoe trip, or flying down a steep ski slope. That was until I tore my ACL, an injury requiring surgery, crutches, and a minimum recovery time of six months.  While I was initially disappointed, I was heartened to find that St. Lawrence County has an abundance of flat…
Blog category: On the Trail

Planning a Pollinator-Friendly Garden

By Samantha Haab on April 27, 2016
 Bees are key pollinators for a variety of plant species that we rely on for food, medicine, livelihood, and aesthetics. They are obligate pollinators, so their diet of nectar and pollen makes their role in pollination a de facto part of their life. Farmers, gardeners, and all nature lovers alike, should aim to foster a diversity of pollinators in their farms or gardens. Especially in light of…
Blog category: Farmed and Foraged

Encounter Earth Challenge Winners

By Jacob Malcomb on April 26, 2016
Despite a rainy Earth Day, folks from all around the North Country braved April showers to get outdoors and take photos for our first annual Encounter Earth challenge.  In total we received 33 submissions from St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Franklin, Essex, and Warren counties. Then, from Friday-Sunday, natureupnorth.org users had the chance to vote on their favorite Earth Day Encounters.  These three…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Earth Day 7K Recap

By Jacob Malcomb on April 26, 2016
Breezy spring weather greeted the 62 runners and walkers who attended the first annual Nature Up North – St. Lawrence Land Trust Earth Day 7K on Saturday, April 23rd in Canton.  The 7 kilometer (4.4mi) course connected the Kip and Saddlemire Trails on the St. Lawrence University campus, passing through scenic forests, fields, and wetlands along the Little River. Racers met mostly dry trail…
Blog category: Just Our Nature

Coltsfoot: Eye Candy and Cough Syrup

By Paul J. Hetzler on April 19, 2016
I haven’t checked with an optometrist, but I may have a winter-related vision problem. When five or six months of winter-white finally give way to a mostly brown world each early spring, my eyeballs hurt—they ache for something bright in the landscape. That’s probably why I plant a few additional crocus bulbs in the yard every fall, and why I search wooded areas for early-blooming native…
Blog category:

What Causes Maple Decline?

By Jacob Malcomb on April 16, 2016
  As the 2016 maple sugaring comes to a close, many Northern New York maple producers are calling it a good year. The sap ran early – some local producers report boiling their first batch in late January – and kicked up again in March and early April, leading to solid yields across the region. But even as we celebrate a successful maple season, recent research calls into question the vitality of…
Blog category: Just Our Nature